Consider the New York magazine reader, whose interests are said to range "from the hottest hairstylists to the best neurologists" -- a promotional phrase that conjures up a trend-obsessed shopper looking for a brain surgeon and a hairdresser simultaneously, the latter to groom the stubble on her postoperative skull....
Upon purchasing my column fodder the other night, I happened upon a pile of prom magazines. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's still February, no? We're sure forcing these kids to grow up fast, what with the SATs and the MySpace and the orthodontics and all. Of the eight titles populating the shelf, Your Prom appeared the most professional on its surface. I hesitate to call it a magazine, though, as indistinguishable dress ads occupy a solid 250 or so of its 354 pages. It ranks as the rare title which boasts so little content that nearly every item …
One's first inclination might be to mock any title so self-reverential as to label itself Good. But even 20 pages in, it becomes quite clear that its founders have invested an awful lot of time and effort in distinguishing their product from the dreck populating most newsstands. It's perhaps the best-thought-out magazine launch of the last half-decade.
The March issue of In Style is a doorstopper, with much of the weight coming from ads and editorial featuring bags. As in very big, very expensive, Prada-, Gucci-, Hermes-sort of handbags. But as a cruel month, March is known for its lion/lamb issues, and In Style goes to similar extremes: While the issue might be heavy on giant purses, it's also filled with questions from star-struck readers -- and these tend to be lighter than air. "How do I get my skin to glow like Lindsay Lohan's?'' Katelyn Paquette, of Scottsdale, Ariz., asks. Is this a set-up, or what?
Body + Soul is, by any measure, a triumph of presentation. The beaming gazes, the omnipresent tints of green, the lightly hued backdrops to its sidebars -- an awful lot of effort went into making sure this magazine looks as Zen as it reads. Upon closer inspection, however, a realization slowly sets in: Hey, I've seen all this stuff before. A seven-day-detox plan, "great skin for life," tips for fighting fatigue, spa/retreat recommendations... Is there a single story in Body + Soul that hasn't been written numerous times by other wellness or women's magazines?
As far as fan-only titles go, Parachutist does just dandy. Unlike other enthusiast publications (especially those which, like Parachutist, are published by a booster organization), the mag keeps its fanboy tendencies in check. Rather than the usual our-activity-is-the-bestest-ever-and-anybody-who-doesn't-like-it-is-an-inert-couch-donkey screeds, Parachutist views its central pastime with a discerning eye.
There is a great deal of information packed into Organic Gardening's 76 pages. For vets, the magazine is a handy guide; for beginners, it's useful without being overly technical.
I understand that AARP has an enormous audience to satisfy -- the publication bills itself as "the world's largest circulation magazine" -- but in shooting broadly, it comes across more as Aging For Dummies than as the all-things-for-everybody resource it clearly aspires to be.
Quick! Read this review of Radar before the mag ceases once again to exist. Grab your bifocals and your lamp and your sarcasm mittens and... Shoot, too late. It's gone, man. Oh well, we'll always have our memories -- like that Paris Hilton/Dubya cover. Outrageous! No, wait. Radar lives! For real this time! Haven't you heard? Now it's backed financially by a consortium including Ron Burkle, Jesse Jackson's kid, the Sultans of Brunai and Perak, and no fewer than three members of the 1987 Washington Redskins' offensive line. And it's not going anywhere, at least not for a few weeks.
Western Interiors & Design has a new cover look but the same editorial mission: showcasing, in the words of its editor, "the best, most innovative interior design and architecture coming out of the trend-setting western region." In large measure, it succeeds, thanks to gorgeous photography and straightforward prose.